Well, it's that time of year again. Another Live Mock Draft by yours truly in the books. Have to say I couldn't have gotten it done this year without the help of Lukayyy & the expertise of Brett Kollmann. I pretty much negotiated all the trades in this mock draft, channeling my inner Daryl Morey. Before we get to the picks, let's run down all the trades that got us those picks.
Traded picks #27 & #195 traded to Miami for picks #42, #82, #224
Traded pick #224 traded to the Jets for WR/TE Derek Carrier
Traded 2014 7th pick to the Jets for Tim Tebow
Traded 2014 1st round pick to Seattle for picks #56 & #231
Traded Tim Tebow, Ben Tate, & pick #231 to Arizona for Brian Hoyer & pick #163
Traded picks #124, #160, & #233 to Oakland for picks #100 & #209
Traded pick #100 to the Jets for picks #106 & #185
Now with that out of the way, onto the recap.......
#42. WR Aaron Dobson, Marshall - Missed out on Woods by one pick. Dobson was our #2 option here, but we were comfortable with him to begin with. His size, hands, speed, & route running skills are right in line with what the Texans usually look for in a WR.
#56. OT Terron Armstead, Arkansas Pine Bluff - Yeah, I know, some might be pissed that I gave up a 2014 1st for this pick, but for a guy who's potential is that of Duane Brown at RT, it just might have been worth it. We lucked out though that Miami didn't have a rep in the thread because they wanted him at #54.
#57. NT Brandon Willams, Missouri Southern - We had him pegged at this pick from the start. We decided to finally fulfill everyone's NT lust with this pick & grab a guy that is probably tailor made for Wade's defense. Him between Watt & Smith will make the D-Line a scary front line to face.
#82. TE Vance McDonald, Rice - We weren't planning on taking a TE this early. We originally planned to take either Phillip or Shamarko Thomas here, but both were gone at that point. Brett pointed out that not only was Vance the best value at this point, but that Graham's contract was up after this year & Daniels' contract was up the year after. There's was no guarantee that both would be resigned with Cushing & Watt's contracts coming up as well. Vance was not much of an in-line TE at Rice as he worked mostly out of the slot. However, that may just work out fine in the Texans offense.
#89. OLB Cornelius Washington, Georgia - Another guy that we had pegged at this spot. Washington was mostly used as a 3rd down specialist at Georgia, but he's also shown ability in coverage as well. He could work well as Reed's backup at SOLB or in packages where Reed shifts to ILB.
#95. ILB Sean Porter, Texas A&M - The man that would be Cushing's sidekick at ILB, Porter definitely would not be the liability in coverage that James, Ruud, & Dobbins were last season. Hopefully having Brandon Williams in front of him will keep him free from blockers so he could roam free in the middle
#106. OLB Quanterus Smith, Western Kentucky - Some of you might be wondering "who?". Others might be asking "Wait, didn't he absolutely own D.J. Fluker? How the hell was he on the board this late?" Well, the reason for that is because he suffered an ACL tear in November & is unlikely to contribute to any team in 2013 & may start the season on the PUP list. That being said, if he's medically cleared, he could have a 2nd round grade on him & could end up being one of the major steals in the draft. You might also be wondering why did we take two OLBs. Simple, injury insurance. If either Reed or Mercilus got hurt, the Texans could be screwed at OLB. This pick safeguards against that as Washington fits as Reed's backup & Smith fits as Mercilus' backup. Smith is a very similar player in that he's a pure pass rusher & is very capable of being a great assest, not to mention in this defense, you can't ever have enough LBs & pass rushers.
#163. SS Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami - We took Ray Ray here simply because we missed out on Cooper Taylor. However, Ray Ray is an impressive athlete in his own right. He could step in as the box safety & could also develop under the wing of fellow Miami alum Ed Reed.
#185. WR Rodney Smith, Florida State - We could not let this guy get away. 6'4", 225 lbs, 4.50 40, played in a run first offense, is a very willing blocker, runs smooth routes, & accounted for 10 receiving TDs last season (again in a run first offense). He's everything that the Texans want in a WR. With Posey out at least until mid season, Smith could be a contributing factor in the offense. Also, he'll have Lestar Jean looking over his shoulder wondering if he'll still be on the roster when Posey comes back if he doesn't step his game up.
#201. RB Miguel Maysonet, Stony Brook - Yes, I know some of you might be concerned that I shipped Tate off to get rid of Tebow (will be explained later), however don't hold that against Maysonet cause I would have drafted him regardless. Maysonet was made to fit in a one-cut zone running offense. He has the potential to be a major sleeper coming out of this draft.
#209. QB Matt Scott, Arizona - I had no intention of drafting a QB, but I just could not ignore the value of Matt Scott in the 7th. He's a mobile QB who played in Rich Rodriguez's scheme at Arizona, & has good arm strength to go with his mobility. He's has some kinks in his game, but as a developmental prospect, you couldn't ask for a better starting point. He could potentially be our Russell Wilson (except for that he's 6'2")
Acquired WR/TE Derek Carrier from Eagles - I'm sure some of you might remember me talking about him last year during the draft process. He is a physical freak at 6'3", 238 lbs, & running with 4.50 speed. He is a true Joker, capable of playing at WR or TE. He's also still eligible for the practice squad (or IR stash just to be safe) so that he can learn the system. He could end up being a monstrous mismatch either at TE with his speed or at WR with his size.
Acquired QB Brian Hoyer (who will be promptly cut) - I'll admit, Lukayyy & myself weren't thinking clearly when we traded for Tebow (hell, I nearly died laughing). So that gets around to the question "why the hell did you get Hoyer?". Simple answer, salary cap reasons. Cutting Tebow results in $1.5M in dead money whereas cutting Hoyer costs nothing....... and that the Cardinals wouldn't take Tebow unless I took Hoyer.
Texans UDFA Targets
RB Onterio McCalebb, Auburn - Scat back with 4.34 speed. Adds a speed element out of the backfield we don't currently have. Follows blocks well on screens & kick returns. Could challenge Martin for the KR/PR jobs
LB Jon Major, Colorado - Yeah, we all know about Major. His pro day obviously showed he didn't have the athleticism we hoped he'd have. However, the film still shows he has outstanding instincts & a nose for the ball. At the very least, he's a special teams monster & could make Sharpton expendable if he can't stay healthy
CB/FS Melvin White, Louisiana Lafayette - A secondary tweener that compares to Richard Sherman. Might not be fast enough to play CB, but at 6'1", he could handle larger WRs or move to FS & join Ray Ray in Ed Reed's film sessions.
LB Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State - Some of you brought him up recently, as did Brett. Very similar to Major in that he's not the greatest athlete, but his instincts make up for it. Again, special teams needs all the help they can get.
C Dalton Freeman, Clemson - Might want to put this kid on the radar. Undersized lineman with the athleticism needed for a zone blocking scheme. With Jones all but moved to Guard, it doesn't hurt to pick up a UDFA Center that compares to Chris Myers.